Pam showed up with more news: She’d recovered a memory!
September 21, 2017 2:29 PM   Subscribe

The only possible motive connecting all three cases was money. Hupp, who’d held several jobs in the insurance industry, was the beneficiary of both her friend’s and mother’s policies. But would somebody really stab a sick friend and shove her own mother off a balcony to get cash she’d receive in a few years anyway, then shoot a perfect stranger just to twist the plot?
posted by Chrysostom (30 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes?
posted by runcibleshaw at 2:46 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, it sounds like there was an amazing amount of incompetence in how this case was handled.
posted by redsparkler at 3:21 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


That Missouri prosecutor is still employed, to judge by the county's Web site...
posted by killdevil at 3:54 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


Annoyed with this:

Mark McClish, a retired deputy U.S. marshal who is president of Advanced Interviewing Concepts, says in general, “it’s when someone’s making up a story that it contradicts, because it’s not being recalled; it came from their imagination. Recent memories should be consistent. People may add information, but it shouldn’t contradict.”

Hasn't that been thoroughly debunked by now?
posted by ymgve at 5:08 PM on September 21 [7 favorites]


There is no continuing education in law enforcement.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:39 PM on September 21 [8 favorites]


There is no continuing education in law enforcement.

That is incorrect.
posted by amro at 6:59 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Two days after Russ was arrested, stltoday.com headlined the story “Marital problems led to stabbing death of Lincoln County woman.”

This seems really irresponsible and prejudicial to a jury pool. Just because it's usually the husband doesn't mean you should imply that in a particular case.
posted by AFABulous at 7:19 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


After reading the article, all I can say is HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
posted by medusa at 7:22 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


That Missouri prosecutor is still employed, to judge by the county's Web site...

Leah Askey deserves to spending at least a few years with Pam... If you google her, this case is only one of her scandals.
posted by knoyers at 7:44 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


One of the few things St. Louis is united on is that Pam Hupp is a monster, probably a serial killer, and the Lincoln County judiciary is a hot mess.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:49 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


They say we have a system of laws and not of men, but you can't prove it by me.
posted by adam hominem at 8:03 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


The thing that boggles me here is the bizarre eleventh-hour argument in the trial suggesting that Faria's four friends had engineered his alibi and were continuing to cover for him. Unless, y'know, he was a cult leader and these four friends were his acolytes, that's pretty fucking far outside the range of believable human behavior: I'd lend friends money, maybe tell a white lie on their behalf, possibly do a handful of other moderately unwise things, but being an accessory to murder is generally something most folks regard as a bit past the threshold of what they'd do for a friend.The idea that all four of these guys would just go along with it... well, it's not entirely impossible, but it's sure as hell not an allegation I'd accept without some sort of supporting evidence that they were that deeply in his thrall. How did this line of argumentation make any sense to a jury?
posted by jackbishop at 8:32 PM on September 21 [7 favorites]


After reading the article, all I can say is HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

And echoing this. When Russ' attorney showed up and said 'but what about this, and this, and this?' I nearly jumped out of my chair and shouted 'DAMN STRAIGHT WHAT ABOUT THAT'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:06 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


At this point is anyone surprised by St Louis’s inability to have any functional law enforcement, judges, or DAs?
posted by mrzarquon at 9:24 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


When the police apparatus has decided someone is guilty, that person is fucked.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:28 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


I did not need to be up this late reading, but I could not stop. That's an amazing story. I know they didn't likely actually believe it, but of all the twisting of logic by the prosecutor and police to make Russ look guilty the part that bothers me most is that somehow a few friends playing a game you don't understand makes them all monsters who conspired to murder and cover it up? I have some strange hobbies that people don't even know are a thing and I'd be weird if questioned just because I'm kinda weird all the time. That scares the hell out of me because those things are so often successfully used to 'prove' guilt. I'm glad this ended the way it did but I also hope this isn't the end of the story. There are some loose ends there.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 10:13 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Holy fucking shit, are you kidding me, jesus waffling christ what a story.
posted by rtha at 10:26 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


I don't understand WHY the police force and the judicial system was so eager to support Pam. I was half expecting it to be a giant conspiracy.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:31 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


“You have a head injury?”
“Yes.”
“What’s your head injury?”
“I have no idea.”
“How do you know you have memory issues?”
“Well, because you’re asking me questions and I don’t remember.”


well you can't argue with that logic
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:23 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]


Completely crazy. Can't help but think how the story would be different if the actors were POC.
posted by stillmoving at 6:09 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


I don't understand WHY the police force and the judicial system was so eager to support Pam. I was half expecting it to be a giant conspiracy.

It did seem crazy to me too, but it looks to me less like supporting Pam and more like they were trying to make the case against Russ, who they knew was guilty. She was handing them motive, backstory, a car possibly in the right place at the right time, etc.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:21 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I think my favorite argument was that he left his cell phone back at the game night, but then did what? Drove all the way back out to get it and do all the errands and stuff to make the phone calls on it from the house? Or was somebody supposed to have brought it to him? Because I would have been wondering why other people weren't straight up being charged for conspiracy, though I would have also been wondering a lot of things about general intelligence in that courtroom.
posted by cui bono at 7:55 AM on September 22


Russ often had dinner with his mom, and he nearly always hung out at a buddy’s house with five other friends. They’d play Rolemaster or maybe Talisman; role-playing games, they’d found, were cheap entertainment.

Talisman is NOT a role-playing game. It's fantasy-themed Chutes and Ladders.

I weep for the current state of investigative reporting.
posted by hanov3r at 8:08 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


Psychopath, but not very bright, e.g., the several inadvertent truth-telling incidents while being interviewed, the serial appearance of "documents," (email, note in last victim's pocket), which are the type of "evidence" common in the popular crime series' Pam apparently enjoyed watching, etc. And certainly not patient, since she would have collected pretty soon anyway from both initial victims. I was wondering if Pam justified their deaths somehow since they were a) terminally ill and b) old and c) mentally impaired, but then I realized that she hunted for the third victim with the Dateline ruse, and he probably fell for it because of that disability.

Was the implication that Pam's husband, Mark, was trying to destroy evidence (the trashbag of documents he carried to the car) after the third victim's death? I wonder what he thinks of Pam now...

Betsy's husband, Russ, is also lucky is cousin hooked him up with a good attorney.
posted by carmicha at 8:59 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Russ often had dinner with his mom, and he nearly always hung out at a buddy’s house with five other friends. They’d play Rolemaster or maybe Talisman; role-playing games, they’d found, were cheap entertainment.

Talisman is NOT a role-playing game. It's fantasy-themed Chutes and Ladders.


I own a copy of 2nd Ed Talisman, along with 200 other board games, and can say with certainty: Nobody cares.
posted by Legomancer at 9:24 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


I appreciated this articles lack of judgement of Russ, lots opportunities for snark which the author avoided.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:44 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Betsy's husband, Russ, is also lucky is cousin hooked him up with a good attorney.

After recovering my ability to talk without swearing, I think this is the big conclusion I got from the article. If it weren't for the fantastic attorney, Russ would still be in jail.
posted by medusa at 2:12 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


The thing about the email being written in outlook which had never been configured because the victim didn't use it, is what got me. How is that not a dead giveaway the whole thing was a setup right there? I know the police aren't very technologically savvy but even I could figure that out.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:24 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Talisman is NOT a role-playing game. It's fantasy-themed Chutes and Ladders.
I own a copy of 2nd Ed Talisman, along with 200 other board games, and can say with certainty: Nobody cares.
It is basically not much more than fantasy-themed Chutes and Ladders. And while you're probably correct that the general public doesn't care much about the distinction, I do sort of wonder whether the supposed fantasy role-playing element of the game was effectively played up by the prosecution to tar Russ Faria and his gaming buddies with left-over paranoia from the 1980s Satanic panic phenomenon.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:32 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Is St. Louis stuck 30 years in the past? Because Dungeons & Dragons Satanic Panic was debunked that long ago.
posted by Monochrome at 12:45 PM on September 23


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